Utah Jazz: Injured Derrick Favors doesn't travel to Portland
Matt Gade, Deseret News
PORTLAND, Ore. — Everybody is still on the team after the trade deadline passed. Not everybody is still with the team, though.
The Utah Jazz traveled to Oregon for today’s 8 p.m. showdown with the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center without injured Derrick Favors.
The starting center continues to deal with hip issues, which have been bothering him for a month. Favors initially strained his right hip in Detroit on Jan. 17, and he more recently sprained the joint on Feb. 12 against Philadelphia.
This will be the sixth game Favors has missed due to hip injuries. Utah has lost all seven games without him on the court this season.
“It’s just one of those things hanging around,” Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said of Favors’ injury situation. “We’ve got to try to give it some rest now. I thought the All-Star break would give him some more time off on it (and help). It just hasn’t healed.”
The 19-34 Jazz, coming off Wednesday’s 105-99 loss to Brooklyn, will likely go with a starting lineup of Trey Burke, Gordon Hayward, Richard Jefferson, Marvin Williams and Enes Kanter. Utah is 0-4 when that group starts.
The Blazers (36-18) are also shorthanded, as All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge (left groin strain), forward Joel Freeland (right knee sprain) and center Meyers Leonard (left ankle sprain) will be sidelined for the game.
Utah has lost two straight against its Northwest Division rival, including an ugly 130-98 loss the last time it visited Portland.
REUNITED: The Jazz will get to catch up with a few familiar faces in former Utah players Wesley Matthews, Mo Williams and Earl Watson, of course.
But this game will also give point guard Trey Burke a chance to reminisce about his All-Star Weekend triumph with his Skills Challenge partner Damian Lillard.
Last Saturday in New Orleans, Burke and the former Weber State standout won the championship of that event by one-tenth of a second after Burke burst to the basket and made a layup just in the nick of time after dribbling, passing and shooting through the course.
“It’s going to be another competition tomorrow,” Burke said at Thursday’s practice. “It’s not going to be one-on-one thing. Obviously, I’m going have to guard him and try to stop him and vice-versa. We’re just going to go out there and try to get a win.”
GOOD SPIRITS: The Jazz had their three-game winning streak snapped, but forward Marvin Williams said the players are positive coming out of the All-Star break despite a 19-34 record.
“Our team right now feels pretty good,” he said. ”I think the morale’s pretty high. I think everybody’s excited about being a member of the Utah Jazz.”
THIS AND THAT: Forward Jeremy Evans racked up a career-high 13 rebounds in Wednesday's loss, including nine in the first half. His previous best was 11 boards (twice). ... Utah is just 1-22 in games in which Kanter starts. ... Jefferson is the only Jazz player who has started all 53 games. He's also ranked 13th in the NBA in 3-point shooting (.423).
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